A lens better than the Super Symmar 110 XL !!!

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Hello everyone,

I just want to share this information with everyone. I recently purchased a lens which is so amazing that it has become my number one used lens. It is awesome! It made me get rid rid of my 110XL. Which lens is this?

It is the Schneider "Digitar" 120mm lens. I had never even heard of this lens up until recently. At first I thought it was for the big studio professional digital cameras. As it turns out, it is no different than any other large format lens. It has a Copal 0 shutter and the likes.

Why do I love it? Because it is so small, so sharp, and much cheaper than the Super Symmar 110 XL I had. It weighs less than 200 grams! It is dwarfed by the lensboard. I have never seen a lens this small before.

Schneider's web site says that the image circle is 150mm. But that is NOT true. I have maxed out the movements of my camera and I conclude that it is at least 200mm and probably more so. It will easily make any 4x5 shooter more than happy with lots of movements.

When I don't need depth of field, I shoot it at f11 and the sharpness is beyond belief. It is sharper than any medium format lens I have ever used and that includes Hasselblad's Zeiss line up. Under a Peak 22x loupe I use, I have seen it sharper than most 35mm lenses.

Anyway, for anyone looking to get a small and super sharp, moderate wide angle lens check out this baby. It will be quite a surprise!

Happy shooting...

-- John Bowers (johnb3488@aol.com), June 28, 2001

Answers

John - your AOL address failed. Where did you buy this wonder lens and how much was it? Sounds like the whole line might have potential. Just might help get the weight down to below 40 lbs.

T

-- todd tiffan (newhope@4dv.net), June 28, 2001.


Here is the data on this lens. It is part of Schneiders Digital lens offering.

Effective Focal Length f 119.9 Relative Aperture f/No 5.6 Front Focal Length sF -93.2 Principal Plane (object side) sH 26 Entrance Pupil Position sEP 26.0 Back Focal Length sF 93.9 Principal Plane (image side) sH -26 Exit Pupil Position sAP -26.0 Principal Points Separation HH -1.5 Overall Optical Length SUMD 50.5 Pupil Magnification P 1.000 Reproduction Ratio of Image/Object 0 Image Circle Diameter 150.0 Mechanical Data Description Symbol Value Accessory Thread Gewinde1 M 40.5 x 0.5 Front Mount Diameter d1 42 Rear Mount Diameter d2 37.5 Shutter Diameter / minimum aperture d3 / kmax NK0 - / 32 Copal 0 61 / 64 Copal Prof. 0 63 / 45 Prontor Prof. 01S 77.5 / 64 Protonic 89 / 64 Overall Mechanical Height h1 55.09 flange to rear edge of mount / flange focal distance h2 / sA NK0 23.4 / 236.13* Copal 0 23.0 / 235.73* Copal Prof. 0 22.1 / 234.83* Prontor Prof. 01S 20.9 / 233.63* Protonic 21.5 / 234.3* Screw Thread Gewinde2 NK0 M 32.5 x 0.5 Copal 0 M 32.5 x 0.5 Copal Prof. 0 M 32.5 x 0.5 Prontor Prof. 01S M 39 x 0.75 Protonic M 39 x 0.75

-- Mike Kravit (mkravit@kravit.net), June 28, 2001.


Todd,

I paid $680 for this lens. I bought it on E-Bay from a "gray" importer. B&H sells it for $882, so I guess I got a good deal. It is certainly a lot cheaper than the Super Symmars.

Schneider's web site has a lot of info on this lens. It has MTF curves, which show that compared to the 110XL, this lens has almost TWICE the resolution. The 40 lines/mm curve of this lens is almost as good as the 20 lines/mm curve of the 110XL.

But the web site does not list the weight. I weighed mine and it weighs in a 188 grams without the lensboard or caps. The 110XL is 425 grams.

But sadly the web site is not accuarate when it comes to the image circles. As mentioned before the actual image circle of my 120mm Digitar is much larger than the stated 150mm and more like 220mm or so.

I am considering the new Super Symmar XL 80mm lens. But there are Digitar lenses in 80mm and 90mm focal lenghts also and again at about half the price. However the image circles for those are rated at only 90mm and 100mm, but I wonder what they really are?

I wish Schneider would be honest with image circle figures...

John

-- John Bowers (johnb3488@aol.com), June 28, 2001.


One thing I forgot to mention. The new Super Symmar XL 80mm lens has a 5 blade aperture. Does anyone know why? I thought all Copal shutters had 7 bladed diaphrams.

-- John Bowers (johnb3488@aol.com), June 28, 2001.

200 or 220mm image circle ? what about light fall off and resolution in the corner ? can i fold my technika with this lens on it ? it looks like the lens that i was dreaming of !

-- dg (sacripant@online.fr), June 29, 2001.


John: Image circles are defined in a number of ways: light fall off and MTF fall off. All quoted specs are relative to parameters defined for the standards that the manufacturer sets for a particular design. When Schneider quotes an image circle it must consider what fall off is aceptable for the intended use of that lens. Of course, starting higher up, the digitars may go a greater distance to fall off to the acceptable end point used to define the IC for ordinary lenses, often zero MTF. Because the Digitar's standards are higher, as required by digital sensors, it is my guess that Schneider did not consider zero MTF as an acceptable end point for the digitars. Schneider's IC for the Digitar must be relative to the Digitar's standard, not the regular lenses standard. It takes people like you to bring the whole thing into the perspective of the photographer using film. Possibly, Schneider's engineers and the marketing people had their noses too close to the digital objectives to cast a wider glance at film applications. Other people in this forum have purchased Digitars but I do not think anyone before you looked at the issue you raise. As for Schneider, it would be useful to see MTFs and light fall off curves to zero end points to see what the IC would be - for film users.

-- Julio Fernandez (gluemax@ora.auracom.com), June 29, 2001.

John: Image circles are defined in a number of ways: light fall off and MTF fall off. All quoted specs are relative to parameters defined for the standards that the manufacturer sets for a particular design. When Schneider quotes an image circle it must consider what fall off is aceptable for the intended use of that lens. Of course, starting higher up, the digitars may go a greater distance to fall off to the acceptable end point used to define the IC for ordinary lenses, often zero MTF. Because the Digitar's standards are higher, as required by digital sensors, it is my guess that Schneider did not consider zero MTF as an acceptable end point for the digitars. Schneider's IC for the Digitar must be relative to the Digitar's standard, not the regular lenses standard. It takes people like you to bring the whole thing into the perspective of the photographer using film. Possibly, Schneider's engineers and the marketing people had their noses too close to the digital objectives to cast a wider glance at film applications. Other people in this forum have purchased Digitars but I do not think anyone before you looked at the issue you raise. As for Schneider, it would be useful for then to produce MTFs and light fall off curves to zero end points to see what the IC would be -for film users.

-- Julio Fernandez (gluemax@ora.auracom.com), June 29, 2001.

Today I mounted the 120mm Digitar on my 8x10 camera. Now, I could clearly see the image circle. I measured it very accurately and it is 208mm.

The sharpness in the corners is still very good. I would say that the top notch sharpness is in the first 150mm, but all the way to the end it is still very good.

The light fall off is none within the first 180mm. Then it gets dark. You need to stop down to f22 to get the illumination perfectly even all the way to 208mm. So if you want to use lots of movements and go right to the edge of the image circle you would need to stop down to f22.

Does anyone have any other Digitars out there? It would be great to share any information...

-- John Bowers (johnb3488@aol.com), June 29, 2001.


John

How do you find the brightness/luminosity for focusing, compared to the 110XL? Is it as easy (bright) for GG focus and composition?

Peter Brown

-- Peter L Brown (photo_illustration@bigpond.com), July 01, 2001.


Peter,

Yes, the Digitar 120mm lens is as bright on the ground glass as the Super Symmar XL 110mm.

Since both are f5.6, shouldn't they be as bright as each other?

John

-- John Bowers (johnb3488@aol.com), July 01, 2001.



it looks like this lens is the direct challenger to the apo sironar S 135/5,6 that i intend to buy ! is anyone can told me the image circle of the apo sironar S 135/5,6 in real life (it suppose to be 208mm/f22) ?

The apo sironar S is suppose the be the sharpest of the plasmat type, and i was looking for a good lens with a large image circle, that i can use on a linhof tech V and leave it on it while the camera is folded ! I found the 110 xl a little bit to big, and a lot expensive (i just shoot 4x5 anyway, and i don't like really wide angle)

I can't try it (web order/robert white!), john, have you shoot a chrome with the maximum rise (about37mm)to test the quality in the corner ?

-- dg (sacripant@online.fr), July 03, 2001.


The Rodenstock Apo Sironar Digital series and the Rodenstock Apo Sironar Digital HR are Rodenstock's digital lenses like the Digitar series are Schneider's.

The Digitar series would not be the same as the Apo Sironar S.

We would be happy to mail anyone in the US brochures detailing the differences in the various series of Rodenstock lenses.

-- Bob Salomon (bobsalomon@mindspring.com), July 03, 2001.


Bob,

Thank you for your contribution that is, as always, interesting for all of us, but this time also causes some questions to arise: from your inside perspective, as Rodenstock importer/distributor, seller,connoisseur and user, what do you think about the use of such a digital lenses in the traditional 4x5 photography?

Thanks.

Diego

-- Diego Rigatti (diego.rigatti@it.eyi.com), July 04, 2001.


They won't cover 45. They are used for digtal and roll film only.

So there is no question.

-- Bob Salomon (bobsalomon@mindspring.com), July 04, 2001.


DG,

Yes this lens, the Digitar 120mm is very sharp all the way to the edges. It is not as sharp in the conrners as much as it is in the center but no lens is. Every lens will be best in the center.

As for comparing it with the Apo-Sironar-S 135mm, that is like apples and oranages. That is a wonderful lens too, BUT they are different focal lenghts. So you need to first decide what focal lenght you want.

Bob, you say:

"They won't cover 45. They are used for digtal and roll film only. So there is no question."

I hope what you are saying only applies to the Rodenstocks, since my Schneider Digitar has an image circle that allows ample movement for 4x5 and will even cover 5x7 with no movements.

Moreover your statment above sort of sounds like there may be some sort of incompatability between "digital" lenses and 4x5 cameras and it may confuse other members. You should make it clear that "digital" lenses do NOT have any microchips or CCD sensors inside them! They are just plain old view camera lenses! It is just a question of coverage.

Thank you.

-- John Bowers (johnb3488@aol.com), July 05, 2001.



JohThere is no confusion I was speaking about Rodenstock lenses and they are designed to cover most digital chips and roll film not 45.

I can't speak for what the others do or do not do.

If you want highly detailed and specific info we can mail it to you or anyone else in the US.

Read what I am saying and not into what I am saying.

-- Bob Salomon (bobsalomon@mindspring.com), July 05, 2001.


Does anyone here know what the image circle is for the Schneider 80 mm f/4 Digitar lens? I see that it is specified as 90 mm which obviously would not cover 6x9. But in view of John's experience with the 150 mm Digitar I am keen to find out if this lens is useable with roll film.

Many thanks!

-- George Hart (g.hart@liv.ac.uk), November 15, 2001.


Since the digital lenses are "designed for covering digital chips & roll film and not 4x5", will they cover the bigger digital backs that fit on LF cameras? I think that is the question we are looking at here. Since the design of the new lenses meant for digital is on a higher performance plane, will we see newer LF lenses with these higher performance standards?

-- Dan Smith (shooter@brigham.net), November 15, 2001.

Digital lenses are designed normally (there are some exceptions like the HR Rodenstock series) are best for digital and roll formats. Not 4x5"

-- Bob Salomon (bob@hpmaretingcorp.com), November 15, 2001.

"The light fall off is none within the first 180mm. Then it gets dark. You need to stop down to f22 to get the illumination perfectly even all the way to 208mm"

F22 is the "great equalizer." Any of the super performing lenses listed in this discussion or elsewhere would be limited to somewhere around 62 lines (which is very sharp) because of diffraction at f22. So even if it is capable of 100+ lines in the middle at f11, the fact that you will need to stop it down to even out the light has brought you right back to where you started at, except it is much lighter, a benefit.

-- Jim Galli (jimgalli@lnett.com), November 15, 2001.


Hi-

I've got the Digitar 150mm which I purchased for use with a Linhof Super Technika V. It is a very very sharp lens (at least as sharp as the 110mm on my RZ67). Schnieder's published image circle is 150mm, but if you look at the transmittance and MTF both are flat from 0 to 150mm so they are not only conservative but nearly absolute.

On my lens the actual image circle is about 180-190mm and is caused by physical vigneting because the rear element is recessed.

An additional note: My technika will just barely close with the 150mm digitar mounted on a flat tecknika board.

jim

-- Jim Bancroft (bancroft@home.com), November 20, 2001.


Hello John, is the 120mm Digitar lens that you have the standard Digitar 120mm or is it the Digitar 120M? In the brochure that I have on Digitar lenses it lists the standard 120mm as having an image circle of 150mm and on the 120M the image circle is 210mm.

Unfortunately the wider angle Digitars are all listed with small image circles. In the Rodenstock literature that I have about the Sironar- Digital lenses, all of the wide angle lenses are listed as having large image circles. Does anyone here have any experience with the Rodenstock Sironar-Digital wide angle lenses?

-- Ron Marvin (mmarvin1@san.rr.com), November 22, 2001.


Ron:

The image circles for the Digitar-M lenses are quoted at 1:1 not at infinity, so they appear much larger!

Glenn

-- Glenn Kroeger (gkroeger@trinity.edu), November 22, 2001.


Schneider's Digitar brochure is now online at:

http://www.schneiderkreuznach.com/pdf/foto/digitar.pdf

On the last page, the data for image circles is interesting. They quote all image circles at f/11, but give different circles for different format sensors. Along with the text, this clearly indicates they are using a resolution criterion for image circle diameter.

-- Glenn Kroeger (gkroeger@trinity.edu), November 22, 2001.


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